Forum Subsea Technologies' recently launched XLe Spirit is the first observation-class electric remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to utilize Forum’s Integrated Control Engine (ICE) to bring greater functionality commonly only found in larger work-class vehicles.
According to the manufacturer, the advanced control electronics pod fitted to all Forum XLe observation class vehicles enables superior connectivity and expansion capabilities. Ethernet interfacing allows for seamless integration with other industry sensors using common IP architecture and ease of remote data transfer.
Kevin Taylor, Forum VP of Subsea, said, “As the subsea market continues to recover from a sustained downturn, cost efficiency is high on the agenda for the industry. Forum recognized the opportunity to apply our leading software to a more compact vehicle to enhance capabilities and meet the changing demands of the sector.
“By utilizing the same system across all vehicles, pilots only have one interface to learn as the skills are transferrable between the smallest observation vehicle and the largest trenchers,” he said. “This means training can concentrate on operational tasks opposed to control systems, providing further efficiencies.”
The XLe Spirit incorporates a number of features to maximize its stability for use as a sensor platform, including regulated propulsion power, optimized thruster orientation and location, accurate thruster speed control and a wide range of auto-functions for positioning and flying, Forum said.
The XLe Spirit has just completed a 12-week test program at Forum’s test tank in Kirkbymoorside, Yorkshire. It will be sent for sea trials in the first quarter of 2019.